Mark your calendar for the 3MT Finale!

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023!

3MT logo 2020

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition for graduate students to develop and showcase their research communication skills. 3MT® challenges students to present a compelling oration on their dissertation and its significance in just three minutes and with one slide, in language appropriate for an educated, non-specialist audience. 3MT competitions are held in over 85 countries by more than 900 universities. 

Timeline for 3MT®

  • October 4, 2023 - Registration Deadline!
  • October 4 @ 12pm - Orientation & Research Prep Workshop
  • October 6 @ 12pm - Orientation & Research Prep Workshop
  • October 9 @ 12pm - Orientation & Research Prep Workshop
  • October 9-12th - Practice Sessions! (optional)
  • October 15 - 3MT® video and slide due date
  • October 18 - 3MT® Preliminary Rounds
  • October 24 - 3MT® Semi-Final Rounds
  • November 2 - 3MT® Finale - LIVE!

The Finale will be from 5-6pm in Carver Room 204B in the Havener Center and on Zoom:

Learn more at one of these info sessions:

Not sure what this is all about? If you are interested in participating but what to learn more, join us for a brief informational session. We will explain how the competition works and the obligations of a participant. These sessions are optional. 

Register by October 4, 2023:

Complete the registration form by October 4th. 

3MT® Orientation and Research Prep Workshop:

Learn about the details of 3MT, what is required to participate, and how we can help. Also, learn how to organize your work so that it can help you at 3MT plus to network, present at conferences, and sell your ideas. You must attend this workshop in order to compete, so we are offering it at 3 different times. 

3MT® Eligibility*

Active graduate students at Missouri S&T are eligible to compete. (Those who have successfully defended and those who have graduated are not eligible.)

You MUST be available for the final round (Thursday, November 2nd @ 5pm).

Official 3MT® Rules*

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum. Competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage (or front of the room).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

*Missouri S&T’s 3MT® competition is open to domestic and international graduate students. The presentation must be made in English.

Hybrid Competition for Fall 2023 - November 2nd, 2023

  • Registration: 
    • Complete the registration form linked below before October 4th, 2023. 
    • Register here
  • Workshop (required) and Practice Round (optional): 
    • You must attend the Orientation & Research Prep Workshop in order to compete. Please see workshop details below. 
    • You may sign up for an optional practice round to receive feedback on your slide and presentation during the week of October 9-12th. Please see the link below.
  • Preliminary and Semi-Final Round:
    • This year, the preliminary and semi-final rounds of 3MT® will be held virtually. Participants will pre-record their 3MT® submission by October 15th for Judges to consider on October 18th (preliminary round) and October 24th (semi-final round).
  • Final Round:
    • 3MT® Finalists will present LIVE, in-person to a panel of judges on November 2nd. This will also be live-streamed for audience members who can not or wish not to join in-person. 


Preliminary Rounds (Wednesday, October 18, 2023)

  • The deadline for registering for 3MT® is October 4th.
  • The deadline for submitting preliminary round video is October 15th (instructions on how to upload/submit video will be shared after registration).
  • You must also submit your 3MT PowerPoint slide by October 15th.
  • The preliminary rounds will take place on October 18th. 
  • At the preliminaries, panels of judges will score each submission and the top contestants will move forward to the semi-final round.

  Semi-Final Round (Tuesday, October 24, 2023)

  • If selected for the semi-final, you may not modify your slide/submission. The same video submitted for the preliminary round will be used in the semi-final round to new judges.
  • At the semi-final, a panel of judges will score each submission and the top contestants will move forward to the final round.

 Final Round (Thursday, November 2, 2023)

  • If selected for the final, you may not modify your slide. You must present during your assigned date/time at the final event.
  • Wear professional (business) attire.
  • On the date of the competition, check in at the registration table 30 minutes prior to your scheduled speaking time.
  • A timekeeper will notify you when it is your time to present. Move to the front of the room. When the cameraperson and virtual judges are ready, the timekeeper will tell you that you may begin your presentation.
  • The timekeeper will stop you at exactly 3 minutes. If you exceed three minutes, you will be disqualified.
  • At the Final event, a new panel of judges will convene immediately after the round to make a decision and reveal the results. Plaques will be awarded to the top contestant, runner up, and the People's Choice award. The Missouri S&T 3MT® winner will become eligible to represent Missouri S&T at regional and national competitions, expenses paid. 

Official 3MT® Judging Criteria

Two criterion are used at every level of the competition. Please be aware that each of these criterion are equally weighted. 

Criterion 1: Comprehension & Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

 Criterion 2: Engagement & Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?

Who can be a Judge?

To provide each student with a similar experience, we have selected judges from community and campus leaders including business owners, local elected officials, campus administrators, and more. The judges varying in age, gender, profession and discipline.

Missouri S&T 3MT® Prizes

First Place will receive a plaque and will become eligible to represent Missouri S&T at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) annual conference in April 2024. Travel expenses will be paid for by the University. If selected as a finalist at MAGS, travel expenses will be paid for by the University to national level competition at the Council of Graduate Schools in December 2024.

Runner-up will receive a plaque.

People's Choice will receive a plaque.

How to Enter the Missouri S&T 3MT® Competition

  1. Complete the registration form here
  2. Attend one of the MANDATORY Orientation and Research Prep sessions.
  3. Attend a practice session (optional).
  4. Submit your PowerPoint slide as "Widescreen (16:9)" to AND your video recording of your 3MT by October 15 (details on submitting your video will be shared at the Orientation and Research Prep session)


What does it take to win 3MT®? 

First, understand that the Missouri S&T 3MT® presentation will be scored by the judges on two criterion, comprehension/content, and engagement/communication.

Strategy: Explain the judging criterion to your family and friends when you practice. Ask them to rate your presentation.

Second, in a 3MT® competition, what you say matters, but how you deliver your message will be the key to winning.  

Strategy: Critique presentations designed for public viewing. Some winning 3MT® presentations can be found here. What successful characteristics stand out to you about these presentations?

  • How did the speaker capture the attention of the audience?
  • What tone, volume, and tempo is the speaker using? Is it effective in keeping the attention of the audience? 
  • Observe: How did the speaker use eye contact, hand gestures and/or body movement to emphasize points?
  • How did the single slide serve to enhance the presentation?  

How did the speaker make the research both meaningful and memorable for the audience?  

Missouri S&T 3MT® Orientation and Research Prep Session (Mandatory)
Note: You MUST attend one of these orientation sessions. 

3MT® Orientation and Prepping your Research Workshop:


Practice Session

Practice sessions time slots will be available between October 9-12th. Sign-up sheets for practice sessions will be sent out after attendance at the Orientation session.

To reserve a time before or after these times, email


Competition Rounds

The public is invited to attend the finale.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia. The exercise challenges graduate student candidates to present a compelling oration on their thesis (dissertation) topic and its significance in just three minutes.

3MT® develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

3MT® History

The first 3MT® was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 RHD students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT® competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT® competition was held at UQ in 2010.

Since 2011 the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT® competitions are now held in over 170 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.

In November 2013, the first Universities 21 (U21) 3MT® competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition.

The Council of Graduate Schools is encouraging US institutions to host 3MT® competitions. Several SEC universities, including Missouri S&T, sponsor 3MT® events.

Register to participate!

Deadline is October 4, 2023